News release

Bruno Rost
Press Relations Manager, Business Strategies
+44 (0)115 96 85009 Tel Email

New Year bears bad tidings for UK retailers

Retail FootFall Index - UK National (w/c 07 January)
Week-on-week (w/c 07 January 2008 vs w/c 31 December 2007): - 4.4%
Year-on-year (w/c 07 January 2008 vs w/c 08 January 2007): -

Nottingham, UK, 17 January,  2008 - Only a couple of weeks into the official January sales, shopper numbers are already plummeting across the UK, according to the latest figures from Experian® company FootFall.

The Retail FootFall Index (RFI) for last week shows a week-on-week decrease of 4.4% and an overall decline in shopper numbers of 1.4% compared to 2007.

Further adding to the downcast mood, all regional figures for the week are consistent with the trend, with many regions showing even further falls.  Faring the worst, the Eastern England region saw a 3.5% decline in shopper numbers compared to the same period last year, closely followed by the South West and Wales (-3.0%) and Yorkshire and Humber (-2.6%).

Martin Davies from Experian comments:  “With Britain’s increasingly tactical shopping resulting in more selective visit patterns, prompting the introduction of early discounts, the all-important trading period was a major disappointment for many retailers.  Now, only a few weeks into 2008, as the full-priced spring stock hits the shop-floor following a month of mounted discounts, the retail outlook for the year ahead looks worryingly bleak - a sentiment which has also been reflected in this week’s trading statements from a number of key UK retailers.”

Andrew Burrell, Associate Director of Macroeconomics at Experian adds: “Last week’s decision not to cut interest rates and speculation over further fuel cost rises has only added to the dampened mood on the High Street. This hasn’t been helped by a combination of the fact that borrowing costs are still much higher than a year ago, income growth is limited by the economic slowdown and the increasing gloom surrounding the housing market.

“Although further interest rate cuts are possible at the moment, it all depends on the inflation rate which is currently running above the Government target and even if rates do fall, it is doubtful whether this will be enough to entice shoppers and prevent a further weakening of retail demand.”


For further information please contact Bruno Rost on 07967 567012

Notes to Editors
Please note, all information presented in this press release and references to the Retail FootFall Index (RFI) is owned by FootFall, an Experian company.  By issuing this release, FootFall is allowing the use of this statistical information in either printed, spoken or written format. However, the source of this information must be attributed to FootFall Limited, an Experian company, and the use of statistics to the Retail FootFall Index.

The Retail FootFall Index is endorsed by the BCSC, the membership organisation that represents the retail property industry, and, as such, is regarded as representative of UK shopping habits.  The RFI now measures over 150 million shopper visits per month in over 200 retail centres throughout the UK, covering more than 12,000 retail outlets.  Over 80% of the UK's population is contained within the catchment area of the basket of centres from which the RFI is produced.

The word 'Experian' is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd and/or its associated companies.

About Experian’s Business Strategies division
FootFall is part Experian’s Business Strategies division, one of the UK's leading economic forecasters, and is a world leader in the provision of retail business information to the retail and retail property markets. The Business Strategies division provides an understanding of consumers, markets and economies in the UK and around the world, past, present and future. Its focus is consumer profiling and market segmentation, retail property analysis, economic forecasting and public policy research, supporting businesses, policy makers and investors in making tactical and strategic decisions. As part of the Experian group, it has access to a wealth of research data and innovative software solutions.

The division’s economic research team is devoted to analysing national, regional and local economies for a range of public and private sector clients. Its statisticians, econometricians, sociologists, geographers, market researchers and economists carry out extensive research into the underlying drivers of social, economic and market change.